Students returned to campus over the weekend in preparation for the first day of classes on Monday with the usual mix of emotions that a new semester brings.
While seeing friends and starting new classes is exciting, students might not look forward to homework or classes with as much positivity.
This semester, the cancellation of spring break and continuation of COVID-19 safety protocols may be challenges beyond those of a typical semester.
However, students like Kristina Robinson, a sophomore communications major, are still happy to be back.
“I’m excited for my Spanish cinema class and also just to be back in person and hopefully starting to get more back to normal,” Robinson said. “I almost missed having a consistent schedule.”
Luis Paniagua, a junior graphic design major, also had mostly good feelings about returning.
“I feel pretty content on being back, I know the school does what they can in keeping us safe so I feel great being back on campus,” Paniagua said. “I’m pretty excited for my classes; from what I see, most of my classes are all online with the exception of one hybrid class.”
Other students feel a bit more conflicted, like Alexandra Tinajero, a junior human services and leadership.
“I am excited to be back. I missed campus but am also very nervous to see how this semester plays out and how different campus life will be,” Tinajero said.
Even with precautions taken due to the pandemic, Registered Student Organizations have still found ways to meet and have events, whether they’re virtual or socially distanced.
“I am excited to see what events and programs will be held this semester even with all the regulations,” Tinajero said. “Being in LASO, I look forward to planning events that are permitted for students to be involved in and take time to destress and have time for themselves.”
LASO is Eastern’s Latin American Student Organization. Tinajero expressed similar sentiments about her sorority, Alpha Psi Lambda, saying she is excited to meet new members.
Panigua is also a member of LASO, as well as EIU Pride.
“I know LASO will be doing some exciting things, especially now that we got the hang of how to meet online and what we can and can’t do,” Panigua said. “And as for Pride, I’m hoping the drag show happens this semester because I also participate in that.”
Even with all the events which could happen this semester, Robinson said she felt worried for students who might “burn out” without a spring break. She plans to take extra care to prevent herself from experiencing that.
“I’ve been working on taking more time for myself. I’m very extroverted and I love people, but sometimes alone time can be a nice time to recharge. Whether it’s Netflix, a face mask, long shower, a walk, workout, reading, or some yoga, every little bit counts,” Robinson said. “It is so important mentally also to check in with yourself and make sure you are not overworked or too stressed.”
Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]